The people have spoken: Joe Maddon could do doughnuts in his RV all over the beautiful grass at Wrigley Field and he’d still have the most job security of any veteran coach or manager in this town.
Not that the people are necessarily correct. It could be that Maddon has a shorter leash with his Cubs bosses than many suspect. It’s not a great reach to think that some of Maddon’s publicly unpopular decisions — especially with his pitching staffs — the last couple of years rubbed folks inside the organization the wrong way, too.
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Winning a World Series isn’t like a Supreme Court appointment. It isn’t a job for life. Nor do you get to show up for work clad in nothing but a robe and neon underwear.
Or maybe those who voted in this week’s “Your Turn” poll — asking which veteran Chicago coach will be the last one standing — know something the rest of us don’t. By overwhelming margins, they answered Maddon over the Blackhawks’ Joel Quenneville, the White Sox’ Rick Renteria and the Bulls’ Fred Hoiberg.
“Maddon was the guy the Cubs wanted all along,” wrote @Cynics_throne. “He’s only out if there’s an option that’s objectively better, and I cannot think who that could even be.”
But others expressed decidedly different opinions.
“I surprisingly have to go with Renteria,” wrote @Valpo_Hoops. “The leash is so long on him because that young team has zero pressure and [chairman Jerry] Reinsdorf is really committed to his coaches. They won’t be expected to be playoff-competitive for a few more years.”
A few more years? A couple, more like. But the overarching point is valid: Renteria’s winning window with the Sox hasn’t opened yet, whereas Maddon’s is open wide and Quenneville’s is widely perceived to be closing. Then again, Renteria seemed to have time on his side when the Cubs jettisoned him — after one flippin’ season — in order to hire Maddon.
“One of these coaches has three Stanley Cup titles and a GM who doesn’t know how contracts work,” wrote @dervack. “And that’s the one least likely to come back next season. What a world.”
Quenneville might appreciate that sentiment, although the poll voters put Hoiberg in the worst position. Is it really so unlikely Hoiberg will get a chance to grow into his organization’s rebuild?
What about the new guy?
Look, I’ll admit it: I didn’t have the heart to include new Bears coach Matt Nagy in the “last man standing” poll. I’m not a monster.
OK, I guess I kind of am, because I came up with a related poll just for him: How long will Nagy be around before he inevitably gets booted right in the double-knit polyester coach’s shorts? As Sun-Times scribe Mark Potash noted as soon as he saw this week’s Nagy poll, the Bears have had four coaches in the last seven seasons — but also had four in the 30 seasons before to that. So it could go either way, short or long.
Asked how many seasons Nagy will coach the Bears, voters on the whole seemed to be anticipating at least a pretty decent run.
And now, your turn:
“Five Super Bowls in seven seasons,” wrote
@bagman928. “Nagy to the Hall of Fame.”
We think — no, pray — he was only kidding.
And now, a handful of your questions and comments:
You’re doing your polls on Twitter, but a lot of us older Cubs fans don’t do Twitter. —Gary, via email
We wish we could include your vote, but you know what? We dig you plenty just the way you are. Our sincere thanks for reading, sir.
Which 2018 NBA draft prospect best fits the Bulls’ needs, and do they have a realistic shot at landing him?
Not sure if you’ve noticed, but the Bulls have lost about 8,000 games in a row. OK, seven in a row. Their winning ways, such as they were, are O-V-E-R, and it’s a beautiful thing. It means — heck, yes — they have a realistic shot at landing most anyone.
But I remain staunchly in the Trae Young camp. The Oklahoma freshman already is one of the best shooters on the planet. As both a shooter and a playmaker, he is comparable as a freshman to what Stephen Curry was in his third and final season at Davidson. The thought of Young and Lauri Markkanen opening up shooting space for each other is dizzying in the best way.
Wow, you really don’t like Illini fans. It reads like it’s personal.
Not true. I personally guarantee it.
If the Cubs can’t sign a big-name pitcher like Yu Darvish or Jake Arrieta, do you think they might try to re-sign a Dick Ruthven or a Rick Reuschel?
Don’t be ridiculous, pal. Scott Sanderson has much better stuff and is available for a song.
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